Friday, June 20, 2008

Staff almost done

Rick Carlisle is about to fulfill one goal … his coaching staff. Former head coaches Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts are in Dallas finalizing contract details and preparing for next week’s NBA Draft. Mario Elie, one of Avery Johnson’s former assistants, and player development coach Popeye Jones are also expected to remain on staff.

Casey and Stotts are part of the group working out potential draftees at American Airlines Center. The Mavs currently have a second-round pick (No. 51) after trading their first-round choice to New Jersey as part of the Jason Kidd deal.

“We’ve seen a lot of guys,” Carlisle said. “Guys are competing hard and the coaching staff is learning a lot. We’re in a catch-up basis because we didn’t study the Draft a lot over the year. When we pick, whatever it is at 51 or if we move up, we’ll be ready.”

Euro Trip: Rick visits Dirk in Germany

Rick Carlisle returned from his European vacation with a greater appreciation for the continent’s most renowned NBA export. That’s what eight days in Germany with Dirk Nowitzki, his family and friends will do.

“We’re talking about the greatest European player in history,” Carlisle said. “There’s nobody else that’s been an MVP in the NBA, and for him to do that coming from where he did and facing the challenges he’s faced is phenomenal. And yet he’s still a guy who’s in his early prime and has a lot more years left.”

Carlisle visited Nowitzki’s childhood home in W├╝rzburg and many of the courts he grew up playing on. One, to Carlisle’s surprise, had a linoleum floor. A visit or two to the neighborhood beer garden was also part of the tour. They caught Germany’s Euro 2008 match with Croatia during one trip.

Getting to know Nowitzki’s personal coach/mentor proved equally enlightening for the Mavericks coach. Holger Geschwindner, a member of West Germany’s 1972 Olympic basketball team, has a unique outlook on the sport, training methods and how to best use Nowitzki.

“I have a greater appreciation for his humble beginnings and some of the challenges that he faced in terms of facilities not being great,” Carlisle said. “There was an exorbitant amount of traveling that had to be done by both Holger and Dirk so that they could meet up and train in the early years.”

Read the rest of this story at mavs.com.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Draft Central 2008

A section dedicated to next week’s NBA Draft and the Mavericks’ second-round pick (No. 51) -- Draft Central 2008 -- is going up on mavs.com. It details the team’s outlook going into the Draft, the team’s Draft history, trades made through the years, a photo gallery of past drafts, a look at the prospects and much more.

Here’s an excerpt from the overview:

The Mavericks are sitting with the 51st pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Don’t expect them to sit still. Though nothing is guaranteed, dealing into the first round is a very real option.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ll try,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “First-round picks, this time of year, everybody gets enamored with them.”

Pulling the trigger on a trade before the annual dispersal of new talent is unlikely, but all bets are off on June 26. The franchise is usually quite active once David Stern steps up to the podium to announce the No. 1 pick.

In eight drafts during Mark Cuban’s tenure, nine trades have been made involving draft picks. The team has held pat just three times (2001-02 and 2005) over that span.